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This is the first post in a new occasional series where we ask our favorite design lovers for a peek at the spot they love the most in their home…and the spot they’re dying to change.

Five years ago, John and Sherry Petersik started a blog (just meant for friends and family) to chronicle their first big remodeling project: the kitchen they DIYed in their first home. More than 2,000 posts and millions of fans later, the couple behind Young House Love has completely remodeled one house, moved on to a second one, added a daughter to their family and found time to write a brand new book filled with more than 200 simple decorating projects. (Check back here later this week for a review of their book, Young House Love, and a sneak peek at some favorite projects.)

Young House Love's Sherry, John and Clara

Sherry and John Petersik with daughter Clara and dog Burger

One thing I’ve always appreciated about Young House Love is that Sherry and John don’t just show you the perfectly-styled “after” photos. Remember the kitchen project that got them started? Sure, they wrote about the big reveal, but they also chronicled an epic pipe clog at the coming out party for said kitchen. (For those following along: They fixed it with lots of boiling water.) So it’s only fitting that Sherry was happy to share her favorite (and least favorite) spots in their current house.

The Best Space: The Home Office
“We love our home office,” Sherry says. “It probably would have been $7000 to hire a woodworker to create the long, two-person desk, but we only spent $127 on the whole thing.”

Yep, you heard right: They found the cabinets that make up the base for one dollar each, and created the top of the desk with $27 worth of framing lumber and some rich wood finish.

Young House Love Office

“The big art behind our desk adds so much to the space, and we only spent $15 at the store,” Sherry says. Masters of the DIY-wall-decor-that-looks-like-you’d-really-buy-it project, the artwork includes a comment card from a meal shared during their honeymoon, custom artwork from daughter Clara and a leftover swatch of fabric. The secondhand desk chairs ($35 each) were transformed with yellow-green spray paint and boldly-patterned upholstery.

Also…the (amazing) wall pattern? It’s actually a painted stencil that took Sherry about 15 hours.

Young House Love Office Artwork and Chairs

Here’s a view of the office from their bright dining room:

Dining Room Into Office

The Worst Space: The “Playroom”
“When we moved in almost two years ago, we thought we’d make a playroom,” Sherry says. “It will never be a playroom. This room is stuffed with things…things we pick up at yard sales or on Craigslist, things we want to change, and secret projects from our book.” 

Young House Love Playroom Progress

John and Sherry’s Future Playroom

“We’re whittling the room down…we need to have a giant yard sale,” Sherry says. “Right now, though…I have to close the door at night so I can go to sleep.”

Check back later this week for a review of John and Sherry’s new book, Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love.

6 Responses

  1. RSS says:

    I love the concept for this new blog series Liz. Can't wait for more!

  2. Morissa says:

    I'm so glad Sherry has a room she needs to close the door on to sleep at night. I thought I might be the only one! Unfortunately for me my room is a spare bathroom…not smart.

    • Liz_HGTV says:

      Hi Morissa,
      I think everyone has that space — mine is my "office" aka "box and dirty laundry room." What do you have planned for the spare bathroom?

  3. [...] RELATED: See Sherry’s Best and Worst Room Picks [...]

  4. As much as I like the carpet in the playroom, I there are other more appropriate designs for the area. Something with vibrant colors and fun shapes might do the trick.

  5. Twanda Poll says:

    The next time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as significantly as this 1. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I really thought youd have something intriguing to say. All I hear is actually a bunch of whining about something that you could fix in case you werent too busy searching for attention.

Liz GrayLiz is a senior editor at HGTV.com and an co-editor-in-chief for Design Happens. She lives in a midcentury tri-level that’s stuck in the ‘70s…for now. When she’s not working on...


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